At least 14 people died in two separate attacks by jihadist groups in Burkina Faso’s north, including eight civilian army auxiliaries, security and local sources said Tuesday. One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina has been struggling with a jihadist offensive since 2015. Thousands of civilians and members of the security forces have died and around two million people have been displaced.
Disgruntled army officers have carried out two coups this year in a show of anger at failures to roll back the insurgency.
“Armed individuals attacked the village of Safi early Monday,” a security source told AFP, with the auxiliary VDP militia losing eight people.
The attack was confirmed by a local source.
Six civilians were separately killed near Markoye, the security source added.
“The terrorists kidnapped three young people on the Salmossi-Markoye road, who were then found dead in the bush on (Monday),” a relative of one of the victims told AFP.
“They robbed several people… and carried away vehicles.”
The deterioration in the country’s security situation has been used to justify the two coups this year.
The first, in January, saw a military junta led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba overthrow elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
The second, in September, saw Captain Ibrahim Traore come to power as he and his supporters ousted Damiba.
Traore has been appointed transitional president with the declared aim of taking pack huge swathes of territory held by “hordes of terrorists”.